EFFECTS OF PROCESSING METHODS ON THE BIO-FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF PHYSIC NUT (JATROPHA GOSSYPIIFOLIA) LEAVES
Jatropha gossypiifolia leaves were processed and fermented at room temperature at different time intervals. The products were further analysed to determine the nutritional and anti – nutritional components. The best samples were selected based on the iron content of the products. Bioassay study was carried out on albino rats to determine the effect of treatment on blood sugar level, haemoglobin, cholesterol, liver and kidney function. From the results, fermented juice and powder from Jatropha gossypiifolia leaves had no significant effect on the haemoglobin level. The fermented juice had a positive effect on blood sugar level. On day 0, different doses of samples were not significantly different (P≥ 0.05) from each other. On day 10, the medium dose and the high dose of extract differed slightly from others. On day 20, the highest dose of extract differed significantly (P≤ 0.05) from the medium and lowest dose. It was observed that high doses of fermented extract reduced blood sugar level than low doses of fermented extract. However, fermented products of Jatropha gossypiifolia had no significant effect on cholesterol level of albino rats. The clinical chemistry tests – SGPT and SGOT for liver function tests ranged between 39.97 iu/l as the lowest to 44.39 iu/l as the highest for SGPT and 65.75 iu/l as the lowest to 73.40 iu/l as the highest for SGOT. These values are within the normal range of 35 – 60 iu/l for SGPT and 45 – 80 iu/l for SGOT. Also, the results of blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine for kidney function tests are within the normal range of 10 – 55 mg/dl. These values showed that fermented products of Jatropha gossypiifolia had no toxic effect on the liver and kidney of albino rats. From these results, it was deduced that fermented extract could be used as a dietary supplement for diabetics.